2006 Kia Sedona Long-Term Road Test

Performance


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Kia Sedona EX: Wine Country Trip -- Only a Few Whines

May 08, 2007

A drive from Ventura County to Sonoma County in our long-term Kia Sedona produced only a few whines between vineyard visits. For the most part this van accomplishes the mission of comfortable and capable family transportation. Our EX model has the rear entertainment DVD system with wireless headphones, which means the digital ritalin is always in ready-fire mode for quelling second-row disturbances. The wife, a former 2000 Honda Odyssey owner, was quick to note the Sedona's "floatier" ride and handling, and after four hours both of us noticed a posterior ache from the somewhat squishy seats. After long drives in the aforementioned Odyssey, plus a cross-country jaunt in a 2003 Honda Pilot, we were both somewhat disappointed in the four-hour limit on Sedona seat comfort.

The only other complaint worth noting involved some rather scary brake pedal sensations whenever moderate to severe braking was necessary. Though easily forgotten under most driving conditions, the few times I applied heavy/repeated brake pedal pressure (i.e. coming down a long hill) there was a consistent rumble and vibration that didn't make me happy. We'll have this checked out soon, but otherwise the van proved powerful, relatively fuel efficient (you can get 400 miles on a tank, if you're light on the throttle), and properly equipped. A satellite radio system would have been nice, but the audio system can handle MP3s, so a single CD filled with bad '80s tracks kept me going for the entire 900-mile trip (much to the chagrin of my wife and kids).

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Kia Sedona: Big Girls Can Fly

February 05, 2007

At over 4,300 pounds, the Kia Sedona is no lightweight. You'd never know it when you're behind the wheel, though; she's quick out the gate, with acceleration that's nothing short of eager. Our 2006 EX is powered by a 242-horsepower V6 with 251 pound-feet of torque, and the engine serves her well.

In a weekend's worth of travels, the Kia proved herself up for anything. Steep on-ramps that proved taxing for other vehicles were gleefully taken in stride by the Kia. There were no tense moments when making high-speed passing maneuvers on the freeway. The Sedona proved time and again that she could manage these with breezy confidence.

Minivans aren't supposed to make you smile, but this weekend, the Sedona proved herself worthy of a grin or two.

Warren Clarke, Content Editor @ 18,634 miles

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2006 Kia Sedona EX: Steering's Too Heavy in the Parking Lot

January 05, 2007

I took our Kia Sedona on a few errands last night and it's a pleasant vehicle to drive around town -- good power off the line, fairly agile handling. But the steering is just too heavy when you're trying to maneuver it into a parking space. This is an area in which more expensive vans, like the top-rated Honda Odyssey, still feel more refined than the Kia. The Odyssey's power assist has more subtlety to it: Its steering is truly light in the parking lot, and it firms up progressively as your speed increases.

Unrelated to this complaint, the Sedona's interior still looks great after almost 18,000 miles and who knows how many kids passing through.

However, there are a couple prominent rattles coming from the cargo bay that detract from that feeling of almost-newness. I thought maybe the third-row seat wasn't fully locked into its upright position, but everything was secure -- the van just rattles.

Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor, 17,810 miles

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2006 Kia Sedona: Good Ride on the Freeway

October 19, 2006

I was running late. I asked myself, "How the heck did THIS happen?" I had to be in San Diego's Balboa Park (BalboaPark.org) by 4pm for a wedding, and it was 1:30pm on Friday, AND I was still in Santa Monica. Suddenly, there was back to back traffic on the 405...just great.

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Kia Sedona - won't downshift

October 12, 2006

Driving the Kia Sedona with the automatic transmission in a hilly area is sometimes an adventure.

The Sedona is normally smooth and easy to drive. But when trying to lumber up a steep hill, the transmission would not downshift. I had to switch to manual mode so that I could use 2nd gear. It was just too slow and laborious.

Running in high gears is great for maximum fuel efficiency but not appropriate for all driving situations.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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Kia Sedona -- utilitarian as ever, but showing its age

October 09, 2006

Let's face it: The Kia Sedona isn't the most exciting vehicle on the planet. Yet weekend after weekend I find myself choosing its combination of practical space and inoffensive driving character over many other vehicles in our fleet. It's huge inside -- flop down a second-row seat and it's not a problem to load three people, three mountain bikes and tons of gear into its cavernous cargo space. Then enjoy its car-like driving to whatever remote destination you choose.

That's just what I did last Saturday and I can't think of a better vehicle for the job. Then on Sunday I pulled out both the second-row seats and loaded an entire patio set behind the front seats. It took two trips to get the table, umbrella and six chairs home, but the Sedona did the deed without hassle. It's almost laughable how much space there is in the back of a modern minivan.

But it's not all roses. Our Sedona is showing some signs of wear. The auto-close button on the rear hatch now responds only with an insulting beep when pushed while the door remains open. It can still be closed manually or with a push of the button on the key fob. There's also an infuriating squeak from the third-row seat area that I can't track down. It's most annoying over expansion joints on the freeway where it's loud enough to interrupt normal conversation in the front seats. Good thing this rig comes with an excellent warranty.

Senior Road Test Editor Josh Jacquot @ 11,150 miles

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M-m-m-my Sedona

September 26, 2006

Unless you're 8 1/2 years old, your passion for minivans is probably more utilitarian than lusty. I'm 48 and single, which lands me pretty firmly in the groups that regards minvans as a practicality, a conveyance, with little emotional attachment to speak of. So I found it pretty shocking after a night's commute that I found myself beginning to bond with our long-term ruby-red box, the 2006 Kia Sedona EX.

Not that the Kia's driving dynamics are all that dynamic (let's face it: If you buy a minivan with the dream of autocrossing it on weekends, then you really need to consider upping your meds), but I did find things that surprised me.

First and finest, 244 horsepower is a strong invitation to pass slower pokes on your way to and from work, and the Sedona's 3.8-liter V6 doesn't hesitate to deliver the goods. And the 5-speed automatic is on the same page. In day-to-day application, the brake pedal feel is surprisingly firm, and the response is quite good.

Inside, all three rows of seating in the Sedona have something to offer: room. I also admire the way the third-row seats sink into the floor when not in use, bringing a very useable flat floor for cargo into play.

The Kia Sedona is an easy minivan to drive, that's one of the highest compliments you can pay to a veghicle that divides its fan base into two camps: utilitarians and pre-adolescents.

Richard Homan, Editor in Chief, Edmunds.com

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Kia Sedona: The Musclecar of Minivans

September 01, 2006

Our Kia Sedona accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 9.1 seconds and completes the standing start quarter mile 16.8 seconds at 84 mph. In the van's intro we mistakenly judged that performance as average for a van powered by a 3.8-liter 242-horsepower V6 backed by a five-speed automatic transmission. It's not average. We just took the Sedona, a Honda Odyssey, a Toyota Sienna, a Nissan Quest and a Chrysler Town and Country to the test track as part of an upcoming comparison test and the Kia was the quickest.

I drove the Kia home last night and was really surprised by its oomph off the line. Leadfoot moms can pin the kids juice box to the back window through three gears. Sadly that response doesn't continue once the van is up to speed. Even in slow city traffic the engine's power is muted by the transmission's unwillingness to downshift and its premature engagement of top gear. To correct the 5-speed's poor tuning, I make judicious use of the shifters manual gate, but wish I didn't have to.

Edmunds.com Executive Editor Scott Oldham, 8256 miles

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2006 Kia Sedona -- 800-mile birthday tour

July 31, 2006

My daughter doesn't have a birthday, she has a birth-season. And although she doesn't officially turn six until August 15, the season is already underway.

This weekend we drove the long-term Kia Sedona 400 miles up north to Sacramento to eat cake with Grandma Karla on Saturday evening, and Grandma Adeline on Sunday. During the 800-mile round trip Emma watched the beginning of Disney's High School Musical six times, yet never saw the whole movie because every time we stopped and turned off the engine, the DVD returned to the main start-up menu. Most in-car systems are smart enough to pick up where they left off, but if the Sedona has resume capability, I couldn't make it happen. Needless to say, the opening number lost its charm after the third or fourth consecutive viewing.

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